Disaster is something that happens far away. My little city, my family and friends, have always been safe. My house has never fallen down and my family has never had to fight for food, water, and shelter. I am incredibly lucky in this.

The earthquake in Nepal is the first time that I have felt closely connected to a disaster. I had friends who were in Nepal during the earthquake and I would have been there myself if not for a last minute change of plans. Hearing stories of the aftermath from both my friends and the media broke my heart. Instead of faceless unknowns, the people of Nepal were, to me, people I could have been talking with, eating with, trekking with. They became real to me in a way that far off disaster victims are normally not. 

This connection along with the realization that I was in a position to help, both because of my geographic location and the openness of my plans, encouraged me to join my partner Denis in the search for an organization through which we might be able to make a positive impact. One of my biggest concerns going into this was trying to find a way to really make a difference. We absolutely did not want to show up unprepared and be a further burden on a country already near the breaking point. We were lucky enough to find a group of doctors from UC Davis who need assistance setting up medical facilities on site before they arrive so that they can start treating people as soon as possible after their arrival. We hope that by working with this group we can do some little things that might make a big difference to someone.

Our flight leaves on May 9 and returns on May 17. We will be there 9 days in total and we are trying to bring everything we can to be as self sufficient as possible for that time. We want to be prepared in case something goes wrong but we also want to have as much positive and as little negative impact as possible. We plan to leave everything that we bring that will be useful to the people, from extra snacks to our tent and water filters. In addition we will be bringing supplies such as surgical masks, iodine tablets, tarps, and bedding.

I have to be honest here and tell you that I am scared. I know that I cannot be prepared for what I will see in the next two weeks but with Denis by my side I know we can handle just about anything. So please, send your prayers, your thoughts, your good vibrations, and your best wishes to the people of Nepal. And if you have some extra when that is done, hope that we can make a difference and have a positive impact on a country that is so deeply in need right now.

If you are interested in donating to our purchase of supplies we have set up a fundraising page here